The call came in at 5:56 am…school is closed! The cold and slippery road conditions seem to have finally convinced the local public school to close which means my daughters school closes. Why they waited till now is beyond me since the forecast was real clear about the cold and most other schools in the area decided they were not going to open by 11pm last night.
Oh well…but now the question becomes what do we do? We talked a bit last night and my daughter wants to go ice skating. That sounds pretty good and I think we need to take my son back to Canada today so we’ll bring the skates along and skate in the Great White North. One idea is the TD RINK at the Brink that is an open-air, outdoor ice skating rink located a snowball’s throw from the “brink” of the Horseshoe Falls, offering breathtaking views and a magical outdoor Niagara Falls ice skating experience. Open from December 1 to February 28, 2014. There is a parking and skating fee on most days. They also have skate rentals if needed. Going in the evening is great because they also have a large festival of lights you can walk (it is a very long walk!) or drive and they do fireworks over the Falls at 9pm on Fridays.
A Free option here in downtown Buffalo that is totally free unless you need to rent skates is the Buffalo Place – Rotary Rink. Outdoors but sheltered a bit from the elements and with a warming facility steps away the rink makes for a pretty enjoyable outdoor experience.
Another option in Western New York is the Healthy Zone Rink. Their web site tells the story of the regulation size NHL rink as:
On January 1, 2008, history was made in Buffalo, NY, as Ralph Wilson Stadium hosted the first-ever outdoor NHL game in the United States. The Winter Classic put the Buffalo Sabres up against the Pittsburgh Penguins before record-setting crowd of 71,217.
The Aurora Ice Association purchased the ice-making equipment from the NHL, and with the support of hundreds of passionate volunteers, private donations and corporate support, a tribute to this historic event is nestled in the Village of East Aurora.
The Healthy Zone Rink has become a true asset to not only East Aurora, but also the entire Western New York community. Since opening in the fall of 2008, the venue has added a pavilion-style roof, locker rooms and a warming hut for guests. The rink runs at full capacity from October through March and also added summer programming to its schedule for 2013.
Open skating time is limited and there is a fee. Information about this and renting the rink can be found at http://www.thinkrink.org/